Steve Nash Says He'd 'Love' to Return as Nets Head Coach After Being Swept by Celtics

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 26, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 25: Head coach Steve Nash of the Brooklyn Nets reacts after a foul is called against one of his players in the first quarter of Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center on April 25, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

To say the Brooklyn Nets failed to live up to expectations would be a massive understatement, but head coach Steve Nash would like to run things back next season.

"Yeah, I loved [it]," he said when asked if he believes he will be back in 2022-23, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post. "I'd love to do this and I love these guys."

Brooklyn entered the campaign with championship-or-bust expectations thanks in large part to a Big Three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden.

However, Irving appeared in just 29 games, as he remained ineligible for home games for much of the season because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19. Durant dealt with injuries on his way to 55 games, Joe Harris was lost for the year to injury and Harden was eventually traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in a deal that brought Ben Simmons to Brooklyn.

That Simmons didn't take the court once all season as he dealt with what ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski described as "physical and mental hurdles remaining in the All-Star's pursuit of a return to play" didn't help, and the Nets ended up in the play-in tournament.

While they survived that, the low seed meant a first-round matchup with the red-hot Boston Celtics. The result was a clean sweep that saw Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown outplay Durant and Irving for extended stretches.

This was Nash's second season as the head coach in Brooklyn, and the team took a step back after going 48-24 and losing to the eventual-champion Milwaukee Bucks in a seven-game thriller in the second round of the playoffs last season.

That figured to set the stage for the championship contenders to take the next step with a healthy Durant, Harden and Irving, but the 2021-22 season did not go according to plan.

Fortunately for Nash, NBA insider Marc Stein reported he "is likely to avoid being rendered management's fall guy for the Nets' meek playoff showing, noting how much madness (and, frankly, absurdity) that the former Hall of Fame point guard faced during his second season as a head coach."

Perhaps the third time will be the charm for the head coach.